Sicily : A Short History, from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra
by John Julius Norwich
Editor: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The author of the classic book on Venice looks at Sicily in this beautiful book full of maps and colour photographs.I discovered Sicily, almost by mistakeWe drove as much as Naples, then put the car on the night ferry to PalermoThere was a certain excitement in the early hours when we passed from Stromboli, emitting a rich glow, every half-minute as an ogre shooting at a huge cigar; and a few hours later, in the morning sun, we sailed in the Conca d’ Oro, the Golden Shell, where the city is located.Outside the beauty of creation, I remember being instantly struck by a change in the atmosphere.The Strait of Messina is only a couple of miles across, and the island is politically part of Italy; and yet, we feel that we have entered another world.This book is, among other things, an attempt to analyze the reasons for what should be”The springboard between Europe and Africa, the bridge between East and West, both a fortress, exchange and observation post, Sicily was invaded and fought by the Phoenicians and Greeks, the Carthaginians and Romans, the Goths and Byzantines, the Arabs and Normans, the Germans, the Spaniards and the Germans.It belonged to all – and yet, it was regularly part of no one’ sJohn Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961, and this book is the result of a fascination that lasted more than half a century.In retracing his dark history, he tries to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean, the largest island in the world.This vivid short story covers everything from erupting volcanoes to the assassination of Byzantine emperors, Nelson’s affair with Emma Hamilton of Garibaldi and the rise of the Mafia.Take the key to buildings and cities, and packed with fascinating stories and unforgettable characters, Sicily is the book he was born to write.
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